One day back in late fall, 2013, I made the hour-long drive from my home at the base of Wyoming’s Beartooth Mountains to meet a friend for lunch at one of the few restaurants in the small farming community of Powell. The town is located in the middle of the Bighorn Basin, about a half-hour’s drive northeast of Cody and an hour and a half from Yellowstone National Park’s east entrance. Powell is also the home of Northwest College, a small two-year community college known, in part, for its excellent photography program, which is where my friend was teaching.
About a decade ago the Yellowstone Association Institute offered a series of Master Artist workshops in the park. I was lucky enough to be accepted into a class with one of my favorite wildlife painters, Robert Bateman. Over the course of three days in Mammoth, the renowned artist captivated participants with stories, demonstrations, and instruction on how to better portray the natural world in our chosen medium.